Indian of the Year 2022: CNN-News18 to Honour Social Activists Who Brought Along Change of Scene

Everyone wishes for the welfare of society, but only a few stand out as they walk their talk with actions that advance welfare through education, access to basic amenities and so much more. CNN-News18, India’s No.1 English General News channel, upholds the spirit of such social crusaders with the 12th edition of its flagship initiative CNN-News 18 Indian of the Year (IOTY) 2022. To be held on October 12, the awards will felicitate the achievements of Indians who, through their grit and determination, have brought pride to the country. The marquee property felicitates personalities across the categories of politics, sports, social change, entertainment, start-ups, and climate warrior. From pandemic heroes to proponents of self-defence, the nominations for this year’s social change category are truly empowering.

Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHA Workers have been helping marginalised communities in accessing the benefits of various healthcare schemes of the government. They go door-to-door to create awareness about basic nutrition, hygiene practices, and health services. They focus primarily on ensuring that women undergo antenatal tests and have access to good nutrition during pregnancy. For their stellar work, the WHO recognised India’s 10.4 lakh ASHA workers as ‘Global Health Leaders’.

At the height of the second Covid wave, when cases were skyrocketing, Gurugram-based NGO Hemkunt Foundation became a symbol of hope for thousands. With the help of volunteers, Hemkunt Foundation set up facilities with oxygen concentrators, launched drive-through initiatives and set up a dedicated helpline where people could reach out for help. They also worked tirelessly to provide relief to Assam flood victims this year.

13-year old Kashmiri teen Tajamul Islam, a two-time World Kickboxing Champion in 2021 and 2016, is now inspiring women in North Kashmir’s Bandipora to take up sports as a passion, by opening an academy there. She is a living example of how you can overcome all odds to achieve your dreams.

Known as the ‘Rs 5 doctor’, Dr Shankare Gowda is a skin specialist from Mandya in Karnataka, who charges his patients just Rs 5. He always prescribes affordable medicines, and has had an almost hundred percent success rate. His selfless service attracts scores of patients from far-flung areas of Karnataka.

Finally, there is 28-year-old Raju Kendre, a resident of Buldhana in Maharashtra, who is on a mission to make higher education accessible to youngsters from marginalised sections of society. He opened guidance centres for those passing out of Class X and XII to help them decide their future course of study. This soon evolved into Eklavya, a platform founded in 2017, which has helped hundreds of youngsters from Yavatmal gain guidance on higher education.

CNN-News18 has been setting the precedent of recognising agents of social change in the country through this flagship initiative. Some of the names who have been recognised in the past editions for public service includes names like Afroze Shah, Tongam Rina, Dr Devi Shetty, ADR & Lily Thomas, Anna Hazare & team, Ladakh Ecological Development Group & Seeds India, Pratham to name a few.

The country is keen to know which social activist would be awarded as the Indian of the Year 2022 in the social change category. While each nominee has contributed immensely to the nation, there will be only one winner whose name will be revealed at the Indian of the Year 2022 grand finale on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 6 pm onwards, exclusively on CNN-News18.

CNN-News18 Indian of the Year 2022 has RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group as the Presenting Partner and Reliance Industries as the Co-Presenting Partner.

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